K-economy Master Plan not worth making public if its 155 recommendations
do not include proposals which I had made in the last Parliament
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Malaysian
decision-makers and information technology (IT) planners, whether
in Cabinet, Parliament, government or the National Information Tecnology
Council (NITC) cannot hold their heads high in the international IT circuit
about Malaysia’s much-touted K-economy Master Plan for two reasons: firstly,
it was formulated completely without public participation and consultation
and secondly, it has scored a dubious world’s first to be classified under
the Official Secrets Act and denied all public access.
by Lim Kit Siang
Up to now, nobody could answer the question which I had been posing
the whole week as to why the solemn pledge given by the Prime Minister,
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that “a thousand ideas must contend
and a hundred flowers must bloom” in a 18-month “process of national consultation,
brainstorming, drafting and national mobilisation” for the K-economy Master
Plan had not been honoured.
Did any Cabinet Minister dare to raise this question at the Cabinet
meeting today as to why the K-economy Master Plan had been formulated against
the specific directive of the Prime Minister or are they as useless and
incompetent as the Barisan Nasional MP for Kinabatangan Datuk Bung
Moktar Radin had made them out to be in Parliament last week?
All Malaysians know at present is that the K-economy Master Plan comprises
155 recommendations to expedite the development towards the K-economy but
what are these recommendations and why couldn’t they be made public and
be subject to national scrutiny and debate as to whether they are adequate
to the challenge for Malaysia to take the quantum leap into the knowledge-based
economy and information society?
In the last Parliament, I had made numerous proposals for Malaysia to
transform from a P-economy (production-economy) to a K-economy (knowledge-based
Some of these proposals were made as far back as six years ago in 1995,
and if they are not among the 155 recommendations of the K-economy Master
Plan, then may be it is not worth making the K-economy Master Plan public.
Some of these proposals were:
a nation-wide programme to promote "IT For All".
make "computer literacy" a core subject for the primary and secondary school
Parliamentary IT Standing Committee for Parliament to play a leading role
to promote Malaysia as a regional centre for Information Technology.
proclaim the Knowledge Society as a national vision and the tenth strategic
objective of Vision 2020 to harness Information Technology to provide the
environment for lifelong learning in which all Malaysians will have access
to the widest possible variety of learning opportunities and tools in order
to succeed in the new global economy of the 21st century.
creation of a full Ministry on Informaton Technology to spearhead the development
of IT and co-ordinate the building of the national information infrastructure
with the objective of making Malaysia a world leader in Information Technology.
annual report to Parliament and debate on IT developments.
connect all the 8,500 schools to the Internet by the year 2000.
three-point Education Ministry IT plan to ensure that the 250,000 teachers
in the country are computer-literate and get on the Internet by the year
2000 so that they could guide the new generation of schoolchildren into
the Information Age.
An Online Government Council to be responsible for the
provision of online government services to all Malaysians.
Does the K-economy Master Plan bear comparison with these proposals
made in the last Parliament?
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman